Dead Rising brings lawsuit to life

Movie producer who holds the rights to <em>Dawn of the Dead</em> is suing Capcom over its zombie action game.

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Zombies in a mall--is that idea the intellectual property of the owner of the rights to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead? An independent movie producer--Richard Rubinstein, principal shareholder and president of the MKR Group--thinks so, and has sued Capcom over its 2006 Xbox 360 game Dead Rising, reports Reuters.

The suit states, "Both works are dark comedies. In both, the recreational activities of the zombies and absurdly grotesque 'kill scenes' provide unexpected comic relief. Both works provided thoughtful social commentary on the 'mall culture' zeitgeist, in addition to serving up a sizable portion of sensationalistic violence."

On February 12, Capcom sought to preempt possible court action by seeking an injunction against MKR suing over the game.

The injunction declared that "any similarities between Dead Rising and George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead are based on the wholly unprotectible idea of humans battling zombies in a shopping mall."

Capcom also pointed out that every copy of Dead Rising had a disclaimer on the box stating that the game was not related to the George A. Romero movie. It added, "In addition to Dead Rising, there are literally dozens of other video games featuring a protagonist battling hordes of flesh-eating zombies."

Dead Rising puts gamers in the shoes of photojournalist Frank West, who chases a scoop and ends up trapped in a small town where most of the inhabitants have been turned into zombies.

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